LAS CRUCES, NM- Dr. Gavin Clarkson, Republican nominee for Secretary of State, joined Doña Ana Republican chairwoman Betty Bishop in exposing evidence that voter registration forms were carelessly stored, potentially leaving thousands vulnerable to identity theft.
Clarkson and Bishop appeared at this morning’s Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners meeting to oppose the possible appointment of Lindsey Bachman to replace Scott Krahling as County Clerk. Krahling resigned August 29th due to alleged sexual misconduct and misappropriation of taxpayer funds.
Current Deputy Clerk Lindsey Bachman admitted under questioning today that thousands of records were left unprotected for more than a decade in the county’s now-abandoned former courthouse and jail, which was recently featured as a haunted landmark on Travel Channel's “Ghost Adventures.” The voter information cards were discovered once the building was sold to new owners. Board of Commissioners Chairman Ben Rawson made the leadership of the County Clerk’s office aware of the situation in May, but no steps towards transparency were taken by the office until after Krahling resigned.
“The leadership of the County Clerk’s office was aware of this issue for months, yet they did nothing to alert the public,” Clarkson noted, asking, “Was political expediency considered at the expense of the public’s data security, especially of our senior citizens?”
“I’ve taught this exact scenario to my MBA students in business law classes,” the former NMSU professor said. “Your first obligation is to sound the alarm and alert those at risk that there has been a massive data breach with a substantial risk of identity theft. The liability exposure is massive.”
Clarkson is filing an IPRA request to determine what was communicated among the leadership at the Clerk’s office, including with Ms. Bachman, as well as to state officials.
“Obviously, if the Secretary of State participated in this coverup,” Clarkson observed, “the seriousness of this matter will escalate significantly.”
Clarkson’s full remarks from the meeting are attached.
About Gavin Clarkson:
Dr. Gavin Clarkson is the Republican nominee for New Mexico Secretary of State. He is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development in the Department of the Interior and a former Associate Professor in the College of Business at New Mexico State University. He has a BA and MBA from Rice University, is a cum laude graduate of the Harvard Law School and is the first tribal member to ever earn a doctorate from the Harvard Business School (in Technology and Operations Management).